Release Time for Regional Campus Library Faculty

  1. Introduction

    At Kent State University, faculty are evaluated in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. Regional Campus faculty are evaluated in these areas, but special emphasis is given to the teaching dimension in recognition of the Regional Campus mission. Over time, departments have come to accommodate, accept, and recognize the Regional Campus mission as it relates to the evaluation of their faculty colleagues. While teaching is important, scholarship is not devalued. Regional Campus faculty are expected to engage in professional growth and development, publication, and related scholarly activities. They are expected to be current in their discipline and active in inquiry. The recent University discussions and acceptance of the concepts presented in Scholarship Reconsidered are particularly appropriate to the professional development expectations for Regional Campus faculty.

    Since University Libraries faculty fulfill 12-month contract requirements, a research time policy was developed at the Kent Campus to assist Kent University Libraries faculty in meeting University requirements for professional development and scholarship activities. This policy provides them with the opportunity to secure release time up to approximately 10 percent of their regularly scheduled hours. There is no such policy presently in place at the Regional Campuses.

  2. Purpose

    Responsibility for satisfactory performance in the areas of job performance, scholarship, and service lies with the individual Regional Campus Librarian. The Regional Campus Administration and the University Libraries foster an environment which supports the individual's efforts in all these areas.

    This proposal adapts the Kent University Libraries research time for individual professional development activities. Because librarianship is practice oriented and because of the Regional Campus emphasis on teaching and service, conventional or traditional academic research and publication are not the only forms of professional development appropriate for Regional campus Library faculty. Librarianship has many facets including subject expertise, administrative or managerial competence, knowledge of library and information technologies, and teaching skills as well as customary concerns such as collection development, reference work, and technical services. For librarians, scholarship may reflect any or all of these concerns.

    This policy supports both Regional Campus Library faculty and the instructional mission of the Regional Campuses and their libraries.

  3. Eligibility and Activities Supported

    Release time is provided to facilitate faculty progress in research, writing, and related scholarly activities. It is available to tenure-track and tenured members of the Regional Campus Library faculty. It supports activities such as the preparation of manuscripts, media, papers, proposals, reviews, and other intellectual endeavors that may contribute to improved service at the Regional Campus Libraries or to advances in the field of librarianship or in subject disciplines. Activities for which release time is requested will be directly or indirectly related to library service at a Regional Campus. Release time does not include time spent attending meetings and conferences of professional associations.

  4. Scheduling Release Time

    Eligible faculty can apply for up to 200 hours of release time during each fiscal year. Since the nature of any project varies, time may be requested in increments ranging from a minimum of one-half day blocks (i.e. four hours) to a maximum of the total time allotted. When initiating a request, faculty members will take into account library service needs and other special scheduling considerations, particularly during peak periods of activity. Release time does not accrue and any time not taken by the end of the fiscal year is forfeited.

  5. Application and Approval Process

    Using the attached form, a eligible faculty member will initiate a request that includes the project proposal to the dean of University Libraries at least six weeks prior to the projected release time. The College Advisory Committee and the Dean of University Libraries will make a recommendation which will be forwarded together with the original application to the appropriate Campus Dean. The final decision on approval or disapproval of release time rests with the Campus Dean.

    Actual scheduling of release time is subject to approval by Regional Campus Library Directors or Deans.

    If a request for release time is disapproved, the reason(s) will be stated on the form which is then returned to the faculty member. The faculty member may then modify the proposal, provide additional information, and/or meet with the Dean to discuss the proposal. The Campus Dean in consultation with the Dean of University Libraries, and the Regional Campus Dean for Academic Affairs is obliged to reconsider the modified proposal. The Campus Dean will provide the faculty member, the Dean of University Libraries, and the Vice Provost with a written statement of the reconsidered decision.

  6. Reporting Procedures

    At the end of each fiscal year, a report to the Dean of University Libraries and the Campus Dean and Vice Provost must be filed by all faculty members who used any or all of their release time during the year. This report shall contain the amount of time utilized, a description of the project(s), and the progress made in the area of release time used.

  7. Evaluation

    Three years from the time the proposal is accepted, the Vice Provost for Regional Campuses will appoint a committee of Regional Campus Library Faculty to evaluate this policy. The committee will consult with the Dean of University Libraries, the CAC, and Campus Deans in making its evaluation. The committee will submit its written report to the Vice Provost for Regional Campuses, the University Libraries faculty, and the Campus Deans.

    Effective: July 1, 1994.